Don Groves is a Deadline contributor based in Sydney
Nearly 18 months after selling the Australian distribution company he co-founded to Entertainment One for more than $A20 million ($20.5 million) Frank Cox has stepped down as president of Hopscotch/Entertainment One. Cox leaves on a high as Hopscotch/eOne’s Australian hit The Sapphires has raked in nearly $10 million after its fourth weekend in Oz and seems headed for $15 million-plus. Hopscotch/eOne will continue under managing director Troy Lum and marketing and acquisition director Sandie Don, who co-founded Hopscotch Films with Cox in 2002. A 33-year veteran of the distribution business, Cox launched New Vision Films in 1983 and its library was later folded into Hopscotch. Cox said his decision to leave is “bittersweet”, adding, “I’m very proud of the Hopscotch team and grateful for the truly amazing work they’ve done to attract and showcase Australian talent over the past 10 years”. Hopscotch/eOne’s upcoming line-up includes To Rome With Love, Seven Psychopaths, 2 Days In New York, Drift – a surf drama set in 1970s Australia and starring Sam Worthington – and Satellite Boy, the saga of an Aboriginal boy who travels to the city with his best friend to try to save his home from developers.
TORONTO/SYDNEY – September 3, 2012 – Entertainment One (“eOne”) has announced that Frank Cox is leaving his role as President, Hopscotch/Entertainment One (Hopscotch/eOne) effective immediately.Cox has served as President, Hopscotch/eOne since April 2011 when Entertainment One acquired Hopscotch Films. Together with partners Troy Lum and Sandie Don, Cox established Hopscotch Films in 2002, which quickly became the most prominent independent film distributor in Australia/New Zealand market.“Frank has focused on supporting and developing Australian talent for over 30 years. His countless contributions to Hopscotch and the Australian film industry as whole have been remarkable. It’s his commitment to the business and his unyielding hard work that shaped Hopscotch and made it an attractive and strategic opportunity for eOne,” said Patrice Theroux, President, Filmed Entertainment.Prior to founding Hopscotch Films, Cox became involved in the local Australian film industry by touring rock music and feature films around Australia from 1970. In 1976 he moved into film distribution and in 1983 created the internationally respected film distribution company specializing in quality features – New Vision Films. Subsequently, the New Vision Films library became the foundation of the Hopscotch business.“This decision was bittersweet. I’m very proud of the Hopscotch team and grateful for the truly amazing work they’ve done to attract and showcase Australian talent over the past 10 years,” said Cox. “It’s been exciting to be part of the eOne family and incredible to watch the Australian business expand through new relationships and eOne’s global partnerships. What’s even more rewarding, it’s provided Australian talent a new gateway to an international stage. I am certain that Troy and Sandie will continue to lead the gifted and hardworking Hopscotch team and I’m excited to watch the business continue to grow.”Under his leadership, Hopscotch has introduced Australia to many great names of cinema, including: Takeshi Kitano, the Coen Brothers, Jafar Panahi, Robert Altman, Tim Burton, Jim Jarmusch, Mike Leigh, Werner Herzog, Mira Nair, Pedro Almodóvar and many more.Among his many accomplishments, Cox is also the co-founder and co-owner of Melbourne’s The Kino Cinemas, the first dedicated arthouse cinema complex and one of Melbourne’s premiere art-house venues.